Monday, December 14, 2009
Then, three days later I dislocated my knee. Since then the only exercise I'm getting is stumping around on crutches and Physical Therapy. But that's another story.
I also mentioned that I have completely fallen off the WW bandwagon. This is for two reasons -- first, my aunt, who had encouraged me to go to WW with her, has stopped going. The meeting location is about a 20 mile drive for me (we chose that location because it's close to my aunt). So, if my aunt (for whom I would walk on hot coals) is not going to be there, I am, shall we say, "disincentivized" to drive that far for a meeting, get sneered at by the weigh-in lady (only one - the others are lovely), corral chickadee #2, and then run back to my home city in time to pick up chickadee #1 from school.
On my WW meeting days, I'd drop off Chickadee #1, go to School of Community, then head to WW. I'd take Chickadee #2 to lunch at Chick-fil-a (they make a mean 8 point salad), and rush back to pick up Chickadee #1, then rush home to get into ballet gear (chickadee, not me) and rush out to ballet, run some errands in that hour, then go home. I'd be gone from 8 am until at least 5, with maybe a 15 minute period here and there to come home. That is CRAZY. It was making ME crazy. And ineffective. And tired. Not to mention a cruel mommy to a 3 year old.
The second reason is the basal metabolic rate that the Nurse Practioner gave me. I'm not sure whether the WW formula is wrong, or if I did it wrong, but it turns out that, if we are talking 50 calories per WW point, then my daily point allowance under WW seriously underestimated my caloric requirements -- by say, at least 300 calories per day. Given the fact that, because I was not really losing under WW, I had further reduced the number of points I was consuming each day, I was never going to lose weight that way -- I had sent my metabolism into a tailspin.
So, instead of doing WW, I asked Santa Claus to bring me a GoWear Fit armband. Have you heard of these things? Basically, it's an armband that you wear on your left bicep. It keeps track of the calories you expend, the steps you take, and the amount you sleep each day. You connect it to your computer and it records the data. Then, you connect to their website and enter what you have eaten for the day. The website will tell you whether you have consumed more than you have expended and provides reports that analyze your sleep efficiency, what sources you have gotten your calories from, and the like. It takes the mystery out of things, and will give me something concrete to bring to the doctor when I go in for my monthly "check in". So, it's all good. While the armband is pricey ($199 -- $179 on Amazon.com), having raw data in front of me is really helpful. I can see, for example, that I get way too few calories from protein and more than I should from carbohydrate. I can see that I need to increase my steps, though that's kind of difficult with crutches. I think it will be a good tool, and there are other features, such as alarms and reminders, that I haven't worked with since you need to have a matching "wrist display" to see what you are doing in "real time" rather than after the fact. Santa's helper is bringing that, I think.
Now, even if you don't live in Carroll County and it's not the summer of 2006, you too can participate in a great virtual baby shower, complete with games, advice, and prizes. It has come to my attention (via a dear blogging (and real-life) friend at A Parent in Silver Spring) that, this Wednesday, December 16 (as in, two days from now!) Nickelodeon is hosting Nickelodeon ParentsConnect's World's Biggest Online Baby Shower. Between 10 am and 8 pm, the ParentsConnect Message Board will be hopping with shower games, a lifeline of advice on parenting, and many cool (really cool) prizes. Need a UppaVista Baby Stroller or a Medela Freestyle Breast Pump? Drop in to the Message Board for your chance to win these and many other great prizes -- from diapers to jewelry! The host of this unique online party will be Susan Newton, of The Shower Diva fame.
You can participate in the party in one of three ways:
1. Log in (or register) for ParentsConnect. Go to http://www.parentsconnect.com/me/registration/index.jhtml
2. Go to Pingg, RSVP "Yes!" and use the "Share Invite" to invite others. The person with the most guests wins a $650 stroller. RSVP at: http://parentsconnect.pingg.com/babyshower
3) Visit parentsconnect.com on December 16 between 10 am and 8 pm to join the party.
Go to http://www.parentsconnect.com/connect/boards/bootcamp/baby_shower/chat_it_up.jhtml
See you at the party!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
When I spoke before about my strange experience of recognizing the ultrasound technician, my discomfort with the whole procedure presaged something even more intense. I got a call at 6 pm two weeks ago from my doctor's office, asking me to come in to discuss the ultrasound results. We made an appointment for 1 pm the following Monday.
Yes, folks, that's a human knee. MY dislocated human knee. My dislocated human knee that failed me in the wet, slippery parking garage of a major big box store that will remain nameless -- but it's not the Arkansan one. In this parking structure of this nameless store, I slipped on the crosswalk and my leg and knee did things that no human knee should do. The pain was intense and I had to crawl across the parking deck, with my 3 year old chickadee screaming, "Mommy, please get up!" over and over again, while I treated her tender ears to words she shouldn't have been hearing (in between screaming myself, I mean). There was no one around (we were on the top level of a 5 level garage), so I had to get myself and the chickadee into the car, in a rainstorm.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Yes, I'm trying to be healthier. Yes, I'm doing Weight Watchers and I try to be cognizant of what I'm eating. But I'm not exercising (because I hate it, I hurt, I don't want to, I'm busy, I'm lazy, I've never liked exercising, it costs too much, I'm tired, I can't take the kids, etc. etc. etc.). So what is stopping my lazy ass from getting out of bed at 5 am and walking? Nothing but laziness and exhaustion -- both of which can be cured by doing the thing I'm avoiding.
What makes me sad, though, is that the last time I lost a lot of weight (right before I met my husband), I did it out of PRIDE. I was planning a trip to Ireland, where I'd spent a year and a half while in graduate school. I didn't want to go back there and have people look at me crossways because I'd gained 30 pounds. For pete's sake, if I lost weight for a bunch of strangers, why the f*&* won't I do it for my husband, my children, MY SELF???? This is the mystery.
Sigh. Let's go for a walk.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
So, knowing this, why do I do things that are absolutely counterproductive (like buying a big bag of dark chocolate M&Ms for putting into cookies for the chickadees). Now, I don't really like M&Ms, so that's not too tempting, but I DO really like the dark chocolate M&Ms. So far, I've stayed away from them and the accompanying Semi-sweet chocolate morsels for the same cookies. But, will I be as successful when I make the cookies? Will I "try just one" and see it become 2, or 3, or 5, or 7? Why don't I more regularly do productive things, like walking every morning? Because my time is not my own? Because I don't want to give up those extra 50 minutes of sleep in the morning? Because I don't want to add another layer of complexity to an already complex morning routine (small house, small children, one bathroom, two adults and two children getting ready at the same time)?
So, what are the PRODUCTIVE things I'm not doing or not doing regularly enough?
- drinking water/liquids
- preplanning breakfast and lunch consistently
- walking and other cardio exercises
- getting enough sleep
- weighing and measuring
- tracking BEFORE eating
What are the COUNTERPRODUCTIVE things I am doing too regularly?
- bringing trigger foods into the house (dark chocolate M&Ms, anyone?)
- planning a really high calorie meal because the chickadees and husband will like it or because it's on the meal plan of the week I'm following
- agreeing to eat out
- agreeing with husband that pizza on Friday was a good choice and THEN not choosing something alternate
- skipping meals (like yesterday, when I ate a McDonald's Bacon, egg, and cheese bagel (without yucky sauce) and hash brown for breakfast, then had only some dried apple chips for the rest of the day until night time, when I had a grilled ham and cheese sandwich and Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup for dinner). I certainly didn't have all my points yesterday.
So the question is, why am I doing these things (or not doing these things) that are not getting me what I want? Don't I want it enough? Am I just lazy? Am I scared? Am I depressed? Am I overwhelmed? Am I sad? Am I frustrated? Am I stupid?
I don't know. I'm going to do some laundry and then take a walk. Aaargh!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Yoga 3 times -- NOPE, not yet, though I started to do a Bollywood dancing class before it killed me. It's lots of fun and I'm planning on doing it again today.
Let DH put the chickadees to bed 2 times this week while I go upstairs to read and relax. I'm on track with this -- DH put the girls to bed one night last week, while I relaxed, and even cleaned the kitchen after dinner twice!
Lose five pounds over three weeks. We'll see how I did at WW on Thursday.
Take a short walk every day. NOPE, but I'm turning off the computer right now to go for a walk with Chickadee #2.
She wants to know if we are going far, and if so, how we are going to walk home. With our feet, I said. She seemed to think that was acceptable.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Today's WW meeting talked about setting goals. I think that my fellow meeting attendees are just as confounded as I am. We all know the importance of this task, yet, when Lisa, our meeting leader, wanted us to tell her about the goals we have set, there was silence. We could articulate the reason for setting short-term goals ("Because if you set a short term goal and achieve it, then you are encouraged and feel like you can reach your ultimate goal), but apparently none of us had done this.
So, it's time to fix this problem:
My first short term goal is to do the yoga class on Comcast Exercise TV 3 times in the next week. Each class is 45 minutes long -- I think I can do that, even if I have to get up at 5 am to do it.
My second short term goal is to let my husband put the chickadees to bed twice a week while I go upstairs to my newly revamped reading nook and look at magazines or read short stories or something else that relaxes me.
My third short term goal is to lose five pounds over three weeks.
My fourth short term goal is to take a short walk every day this week.
I'll keep you posted.
Monday, September 14, 2009
So, why is it so hard? Why is it that I can't seem to find time for the things that I love to do? Why can't I bring myself to say to my husband when he arrives home from work, "Honey, I'm going upstairs for some alone time or out for a walk? Dinner's on the table and the children are ready for bed." Could that reason possibly be that, most of the time when he arrives home from work, the house is in chaos, children are jumping off the sofa, I'm in the middle of cooking dinner, and I'm ready to lose my mind? Then we have dinner, and I start the nighttime routine. Even if we start bedtime on time (around 7:30), I'm still not finished with it until at least 8 and more likely 8:30. Then I have to clean the kitchen and try to restore some order. Sometimes, instead of straightening up, we talk or share things about our days, so clean up doesn't happen until 10, 10:30, 11:00 pm, at which point, we're both mind numbingly exhausted and likely snapping at one another. We retire to our (messy) bedroom, read for ten minutes, then pass out from sheer exhaustion -- if we can sleep or are let sleep by the chickadees. Then we wake up and do it all again. Day after day after day. I can barely take a breath, let alone take time to be healthy.
And in the midst of it all, I hear my voice getting fainter and fainter. I'm becoming someone I don't want to be -- someone who whines, who makes excuses, who takes her frustration out on others. The clarity of mind I used to have seems to have gone, replaced instead with emotionalism. I know the way out of this, but I can't seem to get going on the road. I feel stymied at every turn and get more and more frustrated, until I'm tempted to give up and just let life take me where it may. But I'm not a piece of flotsam. I have to be an agent, rather than an object. That means taking control. Deep breath. I can do this.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
So, I've tried to be cognizant of what was entering my mouth today.
I started off strong! Oatmeal, with a sprinkle (1/2 tsp) of sugar and a small splash of half-and-half. A banana -- Points total? 2 + .5 +.5 +2 = 5 WHOOO HOO!
Mid-morning latte with a friend (assume the friend got whole milk when she ordered -- I was with Chickadee #2 in the bathroom, where she produced, and I quote: "A turtle and a Mystery Fish." LOL, FLUSH!!!!, so Points total: 2
Lunch: Crab Cake Sandwich -- set points 5, ciabatta -- 4, 1/2 french fry order = 5 (Points total 14)
Snack: 1/2 apple = 1
Dinner: 3 oz chicken (crockpot chicken with a bit of pesto on it): 4 points
Jasmine rice 1/2 c. -- 2 points
Broccoli 1 c -- 0 points
2" square of sheet birthday cake: 3
Half and half in tea -- 2 points
Total: 33 points.
That's pretty much on target and I think there's some wiggle room since I'm overestimating points in many cases.
The only way I could be off -- and this is a possibility, of course, is over the points at lunch. We had lunch with my in-laws before they left after spending the long weekend with us.
It's very difficult to tell what a restaurant uses in their dishes, but the crab cake was broiled, not fried, and although it apparently used some mayonnaise, it was not over the top. The fries I should have just left on the plate, but at least I split them with my mother in law.
My husband and I are doing very well with our resolution to not eat out at all -- before this weekend, we had not eaten a restaurant meal in over 2 weeks. While the in laws were here, we had one dinner (at Bertucci's, where I got what I hoped was the lowest calorie thing on the menu, a sirloin fillet) and today's lunch.
Today I worked on getting all my fluids in. I still need to work on getting enough vegetables -- I had broccoli (1 vegetable serving), 2 large slices of tomato (1 vegetable serving), and 1/2 of a large apple (1 fruit serving). That means I still need two fruits or vegetable servings. And I'm full. And it's almost 10 pm. And I'm blogging instead of working. And what the hell, I can't eat any more today. I need to make better choices tomorrow.... As all days. Sigh.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
I got the chance today to demonstrate the turning over of multiple new leaves -- my imperviousness to shame, my ability to absorb pain, my new found resolution to stick to my guns when it comes to the chickadees, and my refusal to take any nonsense from them. I was proud of myself, but I don't think our local Target will stop talking about us any time soon.
It's a beautiful day here in the center of the Mid-Atlantic region. Clouds marching off into the distance make you imagine fairy realms high in the air. I spent the morning at the doctor's office (full physical -- blood work and x-ray results to follow. We'll get to the bottom of this pain thing I am sure.) After I picked up the chickadees from my friend's house, I softened the blow of them leaving their best friends by telling them that we had to go to Target to pick up a few things, but that if they were good and obeyed the rules, I would take them bike and trike riding in the school parking lot (empty) afterwards. I was looking forward to their playing and my sitting on a convenient stump reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which is marvelous.
Before we went into the store, these were the rules I set down:
1. Stay with Mommy.
2. No pulling things from the shelves.
3. No shouting or disrespect.
4. We buy only what is necessary.
If they successfully followed these rules, we would have the rewarding experience of riding and reading. If not, we would leave the store immediately and come straight home.
So off we went. Chickadee #1 was really trying to follow the rules, although she strayed from the straight and narrow a few times (pushing the cart when told not to, for example). Chickadee #2 was bopping along, mostly in the cart. We picked up what we'd come for on the first floor. We rode the escalator upstairs as a special treat (the chickadees love the "cart escalator" in Target) and started to look at books. Then Chickadee #1 had to use the bathroom. We made a successful potty visit and the hand washing reminded me that I needed Purell. So, it was off downstairs again, and another escalator ride. While we were walking towards the pharmacy area, Chickadee #1 pulled away to grab a Sponge bob Square pants watch from the jewelry section -- she just wanted me to see it and put it back as soon as I told her to. But, she broke rule #1 and rule #2.
And MUCH WORSE, she gave Chickadee #2 the idea to check out the kiddie watches. She grabbed a Dora watch and tried to open the packaging. She wanted to buy it. When I said no, she went into full blown TANTRUM mode. Screaming, crying, thrashing about, etc. I said that we were leaving, and Chickadee #1 started to have a fit about the cart we were leaving behind. So now I had two screaming chickadees who absolutely couldn't believe that I was leaving the store without buying the watch and/or buying anything and that we were going straight home.
I managed to get the kids intact up to the fifth floor of the garage (where we'd parked to enjoy the fantastic sky view just twenty minutes prior -- but oh how crucial a twenty minutes it was) and into the car. Then I left them in the car and watched the clouds go along until the roaring and gnashing of teeth had subsided to a dull whimper. When I got back into the car, I warned them that we would stop the car if they started to cry and fuss again. We got down to level 4 of the garage when it started up again. I drove back up to level 5, got out of the car, looked at the sky for a few more minutes, and called my husband for some moral support. He, of course, backed me up completely. He also shored up my wavering (maybe I should give them another chance??? NOOOO!) and asked to speak to a very upset chickadee #1, who felt that the punishment did not fit the crime -- she hadn't started the tantruming, and she put the watch back, after all. He was able to calm both down a little bit -- despite stifled sobbing from the back seat, we drove home fairly well. Chickadee #2 fell asleep on the way, and I was able to have a reasonable talk with Chickadee #1 about the consequences of not following the rules and the unfortunate fact that, if her sister can't go bike riding, she can't go bike riding either.
She doesn't know it, but my husband and I have agreed that, if she behaves well for the rest of the day, I'll take her to ride her bike after dinner while he puts her sister to sleep.
I'm exhausted but happy to have stuck to my guns. I think we'll all be the better for it.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Adding to the general cheer, I started the day very discouraged. It's my practice to get on the scale at home prior to going to the WW meeting. That way, I am clued in to the general direction things are going in -- I don't like surprises. Well, this morning, I didn't like what I saw on the scale, and spent all morning and the drive to the meeting excoriating myself -- "Well, it's no more than you deserve -- you didn't track at all this week, you didn't drink milk, you didn't drink water, you didn't exercise. LOSER!!! (but only in the metaphorical sense)." But, still, I hauled myself to the meeting and stood in line, waiting to be given that pitying, condescending look by the woman behind the desk. Imagine my shock when she smiled and said, "Good job -- you lost .4 of a pound." Now, four tenths doesn't sound like much but, believe me, when you are expecting to have gained two pounds, it feels like a lot.
So, hooray, hooray for me. Imagine what I coiuld do if I actually did everything I'm supposed to be doing?
Now, if only there were a meeting for how to lose the temper tantrums.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
As we walked through the mall, it became more and more apparent to me that I am actually falling apart. Not figuratively -- literally. Every step I took made me feel as if the ground glass in my left hip was shifting around a little bit more and the hot poker running down my leg was heating up to the melting point. By the time we got to the store, I was almost in tears. We quickly bought the training pants and I put them on Chickadee #2, tucking the waistband of the too-big shorts into the waistband of the training pants. We'd planned to also buy school shoes for Chickadee #1, and we did stop by Stride Rite, but the way I was feeling, coupled with the $55 price tag for a pair of Mary Janes, cut our trip short.
On the way home, I became more and more depressed. I'm at the point now where the small things that I need to do are becoming ever more difficult. I can't seem to get a handle on pain -- first from my foot which, after a year and a half, has become a constant companion, to the sciatica, arthritis, whatever the heck it is, in my left hip and leg, which has been with me now for months, to the arthritis in my fingers. The most frightening and most depressing thing for me is to think that I am now only in midlife. If I survive to old age, I will be crippled. Whenever I begin to envision things being better for me physically, my body, this body which I've never really liked, shows me that it's my enemy. "You think you're going to start walking for exercise again -- do a 5K race (which I did actually hobble through)? Ha effin' ha. I'll make it so you can't walk for locomotion."
I don't want to be a mother so wrapped up in her own physical limitations that she can't do things with her children but that's the mother I've become and it makes me so sad. An example -- after getting home from the mall, I took the chickadees to the pool. During "safety break", when the big pools are closed to children, we decamp to the baby pool. At its deepest this pool is 6". From the pool deck to the bottom of the pool can't be more than a foot. But I, instead of just stepping down into the pool, found myself walking around the the shallow (depth 0") end of the pool and walking to the 6" deep side before sitting down on the edge to watch my children play. I did it without really thinking about it. I did it because that's just what I do now; those are just the "accommodations" I make to manage the pain.
After I made that little accommodation so unthinkingly, I looked back down to the current issue of Weight Watchers Magazine, which I was reading. The cover article is an interview with Jenny McCarthy (one of my heroes, actually). The question was, "Why do you think it's healthy to invest in yourself?" Her response, "On an airplane, they say to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before putting it on your child. I've constantly been training myself to think that way. I say I can only be the greatest mom alive if I'm the healthiest, happiest mom alive," (WWMagazine, Sept/Oct 2009, pg. 114). In the bright, sunny mid afternoon heat, I started to cry. I'm not that mom. I'm just not. Not the healthiest, not the happiest, not the greatest.
I'll get there, I pray, but it's such slow going and is so frustrating. I'm going back to a Weight Watchers meeting today, after being away due to vacation, and I'm hoping that I haven't done too much damage, and I am starting some resistance training today (I have the resistance bands and tubes, and think I should actually USE them), and I have finally made an appointment with my doctor for a physical. I've got to write all this down so that I don't forget to mention anything on my catalogue of woes. I hope I can gain some momentum going forward. Please pray for me.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Comparing ourselves to others is, I think, a natural thing for human beings to do. "How am I doing in comparison to my peer over there?" "Is he smarter than I am? "Is he more handsome than me?" "Does she make more money than I do?" "Is she better looking than me?" That it is natural doesn't mean it's a good thing. I've never been competitive with other people -- I was comfortable with the idea of competing with myself, striving to do and be better with each iteration of a task. I find myself appalled, then, that I am doing all this comparing, which is just another form of competitiveness.
And, of course, it makes me feel so much worse. Sigh.
Breakfast -- Vanilla Yogurt with frozen berry medley and granola parfaits
Lunch – 99 cent macaroni and cheese at IKEA
Dinner -- Leftover Pasta Meatball Soup (garlic bread and salad)
Breakfast – whole wheat waffle sandwiches with peanut butter and jelly or peanut butter and banana
Lunch – ham and cheese sandwiches, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, chips or Peanut butter and jelly, chips, fruit
Dinner -- Roast Turkey Breast, Stuffing, Corn, Gravy, Green beans,Rolls
Breakfast – frozen berry medley smoothie with vanilla yogurt, English Muffin bread
Lunch – kids (hot dogs speared with spaghetti and then cooked) and peas, Mom (green salad topped with leftover turkey, asian dressing, edamame)
Dinner -- Cheese tortellini bake
Thursday – crockpot day
Breakfast –oatmeal with cranberries and almonds
Lunch – on the go sandwiches for Chickadees
Salad with leftover roast chicken and asian dressing for Mom
Dinner: Applesauce chicken
Breakfast – cereal of choice or egg white omelet
Lunch – Sandwiches at pool
Dinner -- Fish sticks (kids) or Chile Lime Fish Fry, Corny Polenta, Peas with lemon zest
Breakfast -- Cereal with bananas
Lunch – pack a picnic lunch to take to Brother-in-law’s house (we’re helping them move), Ham and cheese sandwiches, Coleslaw, Spicy noodle salad, Lettuce and tomato
Dinner: Leftover Applesauce Chicken, Buttered egg noodles, green beans, corn
Breakfast -- vanilla yogurt with berry medley and granola parfaits, english muffin bread
Lunch -- spaghettios with broccoli (kids), sandwiches or leftovers for Mom and Dad
Dinner -- Ham Steaks with peaches and apricot sauce, rice, green beans, salad
Thursday, August 13, 2009
What really sent me over the top was the flatbread pizza at Uno Chicago Grill last night. Why I thought flatbread was a better choice than say, a salad, I don't know. I just know that I was in a foul mood because the skies had opened up (4 to 7 inches here last night) and we were soaking wet. We'd been driving up and down the "strip" looking for someplace to land, and I knew that the rest of the family would enjoy pizza. So, that's what we chose. I got the vegetable soup (2 points) and a flatbread pizza (24!!! points). Thank heavens I didn't eat the entire thing, but really.
Today is a new day and the beginning of a new week. Vegetables. Water. No more Chicago Grill.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Yesterday, we brought the lunch I prepared to the beach. It was HOT and very sunny -- almost uncomfortable. We stayed on the beach for a few hours, then, as it got really hot towards noon, retired to find a shady spot to have lunch. Unfortunately, that spot happened to be our RAV4, in the parking lot. Evidently, this town has no parks at all. I suppose they think that the beach is all one could need -- but we prefer our children to remain unlike lobsters and our sandwiches as free from sand as possible. It wasn't too bad -- the chickadees thought it was exotic to eat lunch in the car. My husband was less enthused, but he troupered along.
After lunch, we went on a harbor cruise to look at the naval base that's here. Do yourself a favor -- don't take a five year old and a two year old on a two hour cruise, or you will be praying for a tidal wave to come and sweep you (just you) away. We were shoehorned into the very full cruise at the last minute, so we couldn't find seats (in the air conditioned bottom deck) together. Daddy and the chickadees had three seats (2 side by side and 1 in front), while I had a single seat 4 or so rows behind, across the aisle. Chickadee #1 spent the entire cruise running between her seat and mine. Chickadee #2 followed suit, and added lying over the escape hatch in the middle of the floor to the repertoire. The highlight of the cruise (for the horrified, watching crowd) was when Chickadee #1 tried to get in front of Chickadee #2 -- a little too enthusiastic, she pushed a bit too hard, the boat went over a wave, and Chickadee #2 fell backwards into the side of a seat across the aisle. The wailing and gnashing of teeth began, in stereo.
Afterwards, my husband said, "You know, we really have to rethink these vacations. We just have to resign ourselves to the fact that we have to only do things that the children will enjoy, not necessarily what we enjoy -- this cruise was a disaster." Yep. Next.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
My menu plan for the week, you ask?
Monday: Grilled Tilapia, fish fingers for the chickadees, homemade french fries, green beans, applesauce. We didn't do that -- instead, I had the Pesto-cheese-tomato burger, 1 cup of fettuccine with grape tomatoes, and the chickadees and husband had hot dogs with ketchup and/or mustard and a side of fettuccine and marinara sauce. My dinner came to 9 points for the burger (including everything, including the roll), and 5 points for the pasta (4 for the pasta, one for the tomatoes which were cooked in a spray of olive oil). That wasn't too bad, particularly considering that lunch consisted of a salad and lemongrass chicken sticks from Trader Joe's, for a total of 5 points, and breakfast was 2 small bananas (4 points) and a cup of coffee with milk (1 point).
Tuesday: Dinner at sister's to celebrate sister's birthday My beloved older sister is holding a party for herself, 'cause she's just the kind of gal who can think of nothing more lovely to do on her birthday than to gather her family around her. We're having steamed crabs, a Maryland tradition, which is a bit yucky but oh so yummy. As long as I stay away from the beer (which I hate anyway), I should be fine -- a little punch drunk from all the sodium in the Old Bay seasoning, but crab is very low in calories and fat.
Wednesday: Chicken Parmesan Fingers over Garlic Spaghetti
Thursday: Pesto-Cheese-Tomato Burgers, salad Not sure what I'll do here -- the burgers were very good, so I might make them again for the whole family, but I also might just substitute Monday's meal here.
Friday: Cheese Tortellini with tomato sauce for chickadees and husband. Tortellini veggie salad for me
Saturday: Hot dogs or hamburgers on the grill for chickadees and husband. Grilled chicken for me. Leftover tortellini salad
Sunday: Leftover buffet -- clean out the fridge before vacation day.
Ah.... Vacation. Should be fun. Beach, sand, nature reserves, bird watching, Great Wolf, restaurants.
YIKES. We are going to be stuck for five nights in motels/hotels with no kitchen, a family that loves to eat out, and a "carnivale" attitude (all rules are suspended, we are in "extra"-ordinary time). That could spell disaster. I'm coming up with a game plan (eat mostly fruit, with English muffin or toast at the continental breakfast, keep lunch things in the room refrigerator and take to the beach with us in our cooler, choose wisely at dinner, stock up on healthy snacks, etc.). I've asked for advice in the WW meeting and on the WW community website, and have submitted a question to www.hungrygirl.com. Any suggestions would be welcome. I already know to stay away from the Boardwalk fries (which are too greasy for me anyway) LOL.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Jenny was already consuming a very healthy diet when she started the contest. Approximately one month before the contest began she started eating more vegetables and whole grain foods. Her eating issues were related to the amount of food she was ingesting. She would often eat seconds at mealtimes and she would pick and snack throughout the day.... Her meal plan is designed to help her eat in a more structured manner.
I think that is pretty much where I am too -- I try to eat whole grains when I can, and I'm not a fiend for chips, candy, etc. But I do pick at things (even healthy things) during the day and I also tend to consume larger portions than are necessary.
I think the portion size problem may have started out as a side effect to all the restaurant eating we did when I was pregnant with Chickadee #2 -- I was exhausted all the time from running around after the small toddler Chickadee #1 was at the time and my husband was working at night in a very high-stress job. He was stressed and didn't want to deal with the process of cooking, eating, and consuming food at home, and he is a stress eater who turns to pizza for comfort. So, he would suggest going out and I would agree -- I didn't want to cook and clean up either. Everyone knows that restaurant food is cooked with lots of added fat, sugar, and salt (thanks Dr. Kessler). And some restaurants (like The Cheesecake Factory) are notorious for huge portions (I once ordered a salad there that I had for dinner at the restaurant and lunch and dinner the next day!!).
Even when portion sizes are not screaming "I am a behemoth!" to you, they are larger than what you'd make at home. Take pasta, for example. A serving size of pasta is one cup, with one half cup of sauce. At our local Italian restaurant, the penne with sausage comes on an oval plate and includes at least 2 cups of penne, a whole link of sausage, sliced, and about a cup of sauce. Looking at this portion, it doesn't seem unreasonable. It seems an appropriate portion for the $11.95 price. But, if you actually measured it, you would find that, instead of consuming 4 WW points worth of pasta, you had just consumed 8, and instead of consuming 2 points of sauce, you had eaten at least 4 -- not to mention the sausage. This doesn't even account for the salad at the beginning of the meal or the "free" bread that they bring to the table with olive oil for dipping. Your "reasonable" meal probably cost you at least 15 points, which is huge proportion of the daily points you get.
The solution to this problem seems obvious -- do not eat out. Under any circumstances. That's quite hard to do in my family, for one reason and another. My husband comes from a family culture of eating out, which I do not. I actually cannot remember ever eating out with my parents (aside from vacation or road trips) when I was small. In contrast, my husband grew up with a mother who worked night shift and a father who worked swing shift -- this crazy schedule and the exhaustion it engendered made eating out the obvious choice for his family. In times of stress (and who doesn't have stress when you have preschoolers?), we have tended to follow my husband's family pattern -- to eat out or call for takeaway. Every time we have a budget discussion, we target out restaurant budget as the one area we agree to cut. Every month, we spend money on eating out. It takes discipline and planning not to do that. That has to be our next goal.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
It's probably a good thing -- I haven't been tracking at all this week and had Trader Joe's frozen pasta 2 out of four nights, Trader Joe's pizza for lunch yesterday, and "Irish spitballs" for dinner (my dad's affectionate name for Chili-mac) last night.
I'll do better this week and get back on track.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
I took the chickadees to the beach, in a state park on the Chesapeake Bay. I met my brother and his wife and two little beans and some friends and their mite. We had a lovely time -- had lunch (pb&j with sand, grapes with sand, potato chips with sand, you get the picture), built sand castles, splashed in the very mild waves. All was great under the very intense sun.
Chickadee #1 had gotten up enough courage to actually want to get into the water and go out into the waves. But I had to be there and had to be LOOKING as she cavorted. Chickadee #2 was content to play at the water's edge. I had my brother's oldest bean with me -- a real daredevil whom I had to watch like a hawk to prevent her from swimming out to meet the passing speedboats.
Chickadee # 2, as I said, was content to play in the sand at the water's edge. She had been running between our blanket, where my sister-in-law and friend were hanging out with their year-old-ish babies, and the pile of sand she'd been working on. I saw her running toward the blanket and let her go. A few minutes later, I couldn't see her with the adults on the blanket, so decided to go up to them to see what she was doing behind them.
She was not there.
She had not been there.
I immediately panicked, though I unsuccessfully tried to hide it. Thinking -- I DON'T KNOW WHERE MY BABY IS!!! IT'S A FRICKIN' BEACH. THERE ARE BAD PEOPLE AND CARS AND WATER AND OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD."
My brother took off running to the south, my friend's husband to the north, and I, screaming my chickadee's name as loud as I could, ran inland, towards the spot where I'd seen park rangers earlier. I ran into the concession stand when I couldn't see them, then ran out again, screaming her name all the while.
As I approached the beach again, a beautiful young woman came up to me and asked me what Chickadee #2 looked like. She said, "I'm going to help you find her. I have a two year old too." She took off running towards the playground. She had an air of confidence -- not, "I'll try to help you find her." No, "I'm going to help you find her." A few seconds later, another, older, black woman came up to me and told me, "He's got her. She's all right, she's all right," and gave me a hug. I am so grateful to these women. So grateful for the kindness of these strangers. They took the time to help me and comfort me. They were ministers of God to me. I'm sorry to say that I was too panic stricken to even pray throughout the whole ordeal. But God heard the inarticulate cry of my heart and send these women to help me. I wish I could thank them in person, but I hope they know how incredibly thankful I am.
When I saw my brother carrying a crying Chickadee #2 towards me, everything clicked back into place. The possibility of our lives tilting irrevocably out of kilter receded back to the other side of the veil.
Chickadee #2 had been about 100 yards to the south, sitting on the sand, crying. When my brother found her, she clutched at him and cried harder. When he put her in my arms, she clung to me like a monkey, wrapping her arms and legs about my body and crying into my neck. That's okay -- I would have done the same to her if I could have. My baby. Restored to me.
Shortly after this adventure, we left -- too much excitement for one day. As I was walking through the parking lot, chickadees in tow, I saw my first angel, smiling so beautifully at me as she and her husband and children drove past. It was the final surreal touch -- I wasn't sure at first that it was her, because I only saw her face for a few seconds when she approached me on the beach -- I didn't have the opportunity to really form an impression of what she looked like except to note that she was beautiful. But I am convinced that it was her. Thank you.
Later, after the chickadees were asleep and my husband and I had gone to bed, I was jolted back to wakefulness by thinking of all the horrible possibilities. I was overcome with such a sense of gratitude and joy, such thankfulness to God above. I could barely contain it -- I wanted to get up and get dressed and go and pray before Jesus in the 24 hour Eucharistic Chapel our parish has, but I didn't want to wake my husband up by getting out of bed. I thought about waiting a while, then getting up and prostrating my trembling self before the Infant (Jesus) of Prague statue I have, but thought that would too weird.
I contented myself by praying a heartfelt Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. The last joyful mystery, "They Find Jesus Preaching in the Temple" blew me away. I understood viscerally, emotionally, in a newfound way how Mary and Joseph must have felt. God had entrusted them with this marvellous child, this gift, and He was missing. I cannot even imagine the emotions they must have felt -- they didn't lose their child on the beach for three minutes. They lost him in a huge city for three days. My joy on finding Chickadee #2 mirrors that of the Blessed Mother on finding her child.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Terry Wilkin, the lead researcher in the study on the age at which obesity is "set" theorizes that there is evidence that diet, rather than lack of exercise, is to blame for obesity in preschool children. He blames higher caloric density and larger portion sizes. Which brings me back to David Kessler.
I'd been waiting to get this book from the library (I'm number 32 on the waiting list) but, this weekend, I decided not to wait any longer and sent my husband to Barnes and Noble. I'm still in the first part of the book, in which Kessler discusses the neurological research related to how animals react to what he calls the "salient stimuli" offered by food -- the taste, texture, smell, and emotional/cultural context of the food we eat. Kessler's presentation of this research is fascinating and very readable -- in some ways, it is even too "dumbed down" -- there are places where I am left wanting to know more (but that's what end notes are for, I suppose). It's also somewhat dispiriting to learn how like laboratory rats we are. Kessler's main point in this section is that human beings react to the presence of fat, sugar, and salt in much the same way as they do to, say, cocaine in terms of the brain's endorphin system.
Kessler describes the ways in which combinations of fat, sugar, and salt are included in different foods. His descriptions of various menu offerings, while funny, are also pretty disgusting. For example, here is his description of potato skins:
Thursday, July 9, 2009
After the last appallingly maudlin post, I am half-ashamed to say that I lost 2.4 pounds at this week's weigh in. You might be surprised to find, however, that most of that post was actually written AFTER my success at the scales -- immediately before I started this post, in fact
See, I really DO resent all this, even when I'm "successful". I really wish I didn't have to think about it so much. I really do worry about the messages I'm sending to the chickadees (girls, 5 and almost 3) about how women view their bodies and what is beautiful. I wish I could be happy in my skin, no matter my size, but I can't -- I have never been able to do that -- not at size 10, not at size 12, not at size 14, or 16 or upwards. What I'm looking for on this journey is the ability to inhabit my own body happily, at whatever size I end up.
In fact, the goal I have in mind for my weight loss would have appalled me at 20 or 30 -- THAT's your desired END STATE???? Are you nuts? I'm afraid, however, that once I reach that goal (and I will, no matter what I think in my discouragement) that I still won't be happy.
But here's the rub -- without unhappiness with the status quo, there is no incentive to change. Without hating the way I look, I'll continue to act in the ways that got me to this place, and I think we already know that the elevator goes up much more easily than it comes down. I don't even want to consider where I could end up if I don't assert control now.
It's all confusing to me -- I wish so much that I could approach this whole project without emotionalism, without investing so much of myself in it, but that seems to be beyond me as well. Any suggestions?
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Nevertheless, this kind of 4/10ths up, 2/10ths down crapola is very discouraging. I am getting a lot more exercise than I had been -- my "Against the Current" class really kicks my a#@S every Monday, and I'm going deep water running twice a week. My problem is my discouragement and my belief, deep inside, that I actually CAN'T lose weight. I alone, of all the people in the world, have a unique metabolism that does not react to diet and exercise. I alone, of all the people in the world, am consigned to looking and feeling terrible until I die an early death.
How's that for cheery?
I know it's not true. I know that my metabolism is not unique and that fewer calories in and more calories burned equals weight loss. However, it doesn't FEEL like that. It feels like I'm stuck in this less than optimal way of living and I resent it. I resent having to monitor every frickin' thing that enters my mouth and every intentional expenditure of energy. I resent having to write it all down and I resent feeling as if I must always "be good". I hate the way I think about it and talk about it -- all this talk about being good, as if what I eat is some kind of reflection on the state of my soul. I resent it, I resent it, I resent it. And that, ladies and gents, is the kernel of the problem.
It's all mental and emotional, see?
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
So that's the status update.
The real point of this entry, however, is to talk about something that has been on my mind a lot lately -- PAIN. Serial, unrelenting, stupid pain. Not to complain-- I've had pain of one kind or another for at least 18 months now. In March of 2008, I saw my doctor and discussed with her wanting to lose weight. She was very encouraging, but cautioned me that diet was probably not going to do it for me. She told me that I needed to engage in at least 60 minutes of vigorous, sustained, intentional exercise at least five days per week. I "enthusiastically" started -- exercising with children is not a lot of fun, but I did get some of Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds DVDs and began doing them religiously every morning. I mean, I can walk, right? Anybody can walk.
Wrong. By April, a few weeks later, I had a terrible pain in my left foot. A pain that wouldn't go away and didn't get better. I went to a podiatrist in late May, who diagnosed me with tendonitis and offered me orthotic inserts for my shoes (to the tune of several hundred dollars). That was not very appealing, so I decided to do things the old way -- let's wait and see and it will get better.
Wrong. By October, right before the 20th anniversary of my graduation from the best Catholic liberal arts university in the nation, I was complaining to some friends that I could barely walk and that I was going to be hobbling around campus like I was 142, not 42. A friend looked at me quizzically and said, "why haven't you gone back to the doctor?" Good question. After my return from the reunion (pictures from which make me cringe -- so much for my plans to have lost weight before the reunion -- I'll have to wait until the 25th to fit back into my beloved freshman year pants), I went back to the doctor, who sent me for an MRI. The damage was extensive -- not tendonitis, but a torn tendon. I spent 12 weeks in a "boot". The pain from the torn tendon has receded into background noise -- it's still there, but I can deal with it.
In November of 2008, I came down with a cough that lasted and lasted and lasted and lasted. I was diagnosed multiple times with bronchitis and given four different antibiotics, none of which helped. Finally, I decided I needed to find a new primary care doctor (whom I like very much). She told me that I might have pneumonia, asthma, COPD, or even a lung tumor!!! An x-ray ruled out pneumonia and a tumor (thanks be to God), but didn't solve the problem of the cough. She sent me to an asthma and allergy doctor, who worked with me over a period of months. Earlier this month, he told me that he did not think I had asthma, but that I had had a horrible, drug resistant case of sinusitis, which caused continual post-nasal discharge, which started me coughing and which eventually evolved into a condition that mimicked asthma (recurrent bronchial spasmosis or something like that). I'd been taking Symbicort, Nasonex, another nasal spray, doing sinus rinsing, and a bunch of other things. I feel so much better. I'm not coughing. It's hard to exercise when your lung capacity is at 70 percent. Now that's all over -- I can finally really start to exercise, right?
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
However, I am afraid that my Thursday weigh-in day will be disastrous. I did try to follow the Good Health Guidelines, but it is quite difficult to do that when you are not in control of the food you are eating -- not in control of the production and, apparently, not in control of the consumption, LOL.
I've had a few days to recover, and have one more day before Thursday to "be good". I've been mostly good.
One wonderful thing is that I've been keeping really busy -- I took the chickadees swimming on Sunday, which is never horribly active for me, but the elevated heartrate caused by trying to keep track of children running in opposite directions near a drowning hazard should count for something. Yesterday, a friend called and invited us to lunch at Cheeburger, Cheeburger -- she's doing WW too, and was smart enough to ask about the nutritional content of their burgers -- 64 grams of FAT. How that is possible, I'll never know -- they must deep fry the burgers. I don't think that 4 ounces of beef naturally contains 64 grams of fat. In fact, I know it doesn't. Luckily, armed with that information, I chose the grilled chicken sandwich. Unluckily for me, I just found the nutritional content of this chain's food -- the grilled chicken sandwich, while better than the burger, contains 590 calories and 26 grams of fat. How the heck is this possible with a GRILLED piece of chicken --do they grill on a bed of Crisco? Sigh.
Anyway, the Cheebuger, Cheeburger fiasco was preceded by a kickass workout (Against the Current, offered by Montgomery County Department of Recreation -- this class deserves (and will get) its own post) and followed by a stint picking blueberries. Today's roster of activities included chickadee wrestling (they've been fighting a LOT lately -- that 2 year old is a fierce contender), Moms group at church, and swimming. We haven't been home a lot, which is good in terms of snacking. less good in terms of housework....
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
The guidelines are:
- Eat 5 fruits and vegetables servings each day
- Eat whole grains when possible
- Get 2 servings of milk products each day
- Get 2 teaspoons of healthy oils (olive oil, canola, sunflower, safflower, or flaxseed)
- Eat 2 servings (at least) of lean meats, skinless poultry, fish, beans, soy products, and lentils
- Limit added sugar and alcohol
- Drink at least 6 8-ounce glasses of liquid each day -- water is the best.
- Take a multivitamin each day
- Do 30 minutes of intentional exercise most days.
So, why is it so hard to do those things? I'll be honest -- my adherence to the Good Health Guidelines is spotty.
I usually eat enough fruits and vegetables, but it's a struggle.
I choose whole grains when I can, though it would not be incredibly difficult to make the change to whole grains all the time --not doing so is just laziness, I guess.
Getting two servings of dairy every day is difficult for me. I tend to get my dairy from cheese products, which are full of fat, even when they are part-skim (because what's the point of eating fat-free cheese?) I don't particularly like yogurt, though I do like Greek-style better.
Healthy oils are really hard for me. I've been trying.
I choose lean meats whenever I can -- the beef we eat is all at least 90% lean, with the very occasional (non-lean) yummy steak thrown in. We eat a lot of chicken breast and turkey and some seafood, but only rarely eat beans and lentils -- and never soy!
I very, very rarely drink alcohol -- mostly because it's just not part of my lifestyle and I don't think of drinking -- also, I hate the taste of beer. Limiting sugar can be more difficult -- I do love baked goods.
I sometimes drink enough liquids -- though rarely confine my choices to water -- I like diet sodas and iced and hot tea.
I don't take a multivitamin because they make me choke (bad memories of prenatal vitamins!)
Intentional exercise is not every day -- usually 2 to 3 times per week for 40 minutes to an hour.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Much later this evening.... Chickadee #2 is still awake at 10:28 pm. I wish I had a HUGE PIECE of Death by Chocolate cake right now. It wouldn't make me feel better (and might make me feel sick), but I could turn the anger and frustration I'm feeling against myself -- at least then it would have an object. Death by chocolate indeed!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Great premise. And I was seriously demonstrating the obverse yesterday and today. After my husband left for a week-long business trip, I started working on an assignment for work that needed to be completed yesterday. I hadn't started it because we had had a very busy weekend (birthday party to be attended by chickadee #1, graduation party for my fabulous nephew later the same day, birthday party for my husband (who turned 40!) on Sunday, dinner out with the family, then home so hubby could pack.) And I wanted to finish this assignment bright and early because my babysitter was coming at 12:30 so I could go swimming. I had to run out to the post office with the chickadees to pick up a registered certified nastygram from MOMS Club International (an organization with which I am no longer affiliated, so I refuse to link to them or to use the "circle R" they keep telling members they must use at every mention of the sacred name. No, I'm not bitter.) At any rate, when I arrived home, chickadee #2 was acting like the 2 year old she is and insisting that I give her my keys. I kept them away from her and continued working. When the babysitter arrived two hours later, I grabbed my keys.... No, wait -- my keys were not in their spot. I started looking. Couldn't find them. Couldn't find them. COULDN'T FIND THEM!!!
The babysitter stayed with the chickadees and I was able to finish my report, so at first, I chalked up the key disappearence to my higher power telling me that I should stay home and do my work. Later, though, my higher power and I had some serious disagreements because I STILL COULDN'T FIND MY KEYS. Car keys, house keys, access cards for the pool, teeny flashlight. A huge bundle.
We tore the house apart (and I live in a very small house). No keys. Desperation set in. I pictured being stuck in the house until Friday, when my husband returned with the extra set of keys. We had no groceries. We needed other things. The children need excursions to keep me sane. We all went to sleep last night with a very unhappy mommy and children who added helpful things like "I saw your keys in the bag of crayons." and "I hide them under the table."
Anyway, we woke up this morning and started looking again. I decided that the best thing to do would be a grid search, like they have on nifty police procedurals like Law and Order: SVU. I wrote up a list of all possible places to look, room by room -- as in, Living Room: couch, under, beside, behind. Shelves in LR --1, 2, 3, 4, 5. ... Dining room, corner table, on, beside, behind, inside... and then went through the places that had not already been searched bit by bit. Luckily, I started in the kitchen. And I found my keys, in a teacup in "Corner Cabinet, Shelf 2." I wish I'd followed my desire last night to have a nice soothing cup of tea.
A friend of mine told me last month (when I misplaced my pool access cards for three days and prayed fervently to St. Anthony for aid) that St. Anthony obviously wanted me to find not only the access cards but also something else, and I needed to figure out what that was. I thought to myself, and maybe even said, "Yeah, he wants me to find my sanity." Well, I guess the lesson was not learned, so the patron saint of the lost needed to give me a refresher. Lesson learned, dear St. Anthony. The first thing I did this morning was to order a remote control key finder from e-bay.